Even low amounts of alcohol consumption may be bad for health, Swedish researchers said.
Study leader Johan Jarl of Lund University in Sweden found with the exception of people age 80 and older, men who consumed up to five units of alcohol a day and women who consumed up to 2.5 units a day cost the health service more than those who did not drink.
The researchers said their study, published in the journal Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, challenged the conventional wisdom that low-alcohol consumption was good for health and caused fewer sick days and higher wages.
"In this study, however, we found that, when including also those diseases where low-consumption increases the risk of morbidity and mortality, low-to-moderate alcohol intake actually has a net negative health impact," Jarl said in a statement. "It is therefore doubtful if the common explanation of health as the link between alcohol consumption and increased wages is valid in its existing form."
November 23, 2009